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All posts for the month April, 2016

Peninsular Brewery (1875-1882)

Michigan state gazetteer and business directory for ...

Image from the Michigan Gazetteer 1881

Adam Foerster owned a brewery and bottling house situated just north of the Grand Trunk Railway. The brewery was constructed by August Galler in 1875. (Durant 140) 

“Another case of wholesale beer-slinging without a license occurred this morning. The Foerster brewery team ran away, breaking the wagon, and piling a large consignment of German nectar in front of the post office.” (LR 3/13/1880)

“Peninsular Brewery, A. Foerster, Proprietor. The Best Beer in Central Michigan is brewed at the Peninsular Brewery. The trade furnished on good terms. The bottling of beer for table use and for medical purposes is made a specialty. Washington avenue near the S.E. Depot. Orders by mail promptly attended to. (LR 3/23/1880)

“Last Wednesday Adam Foerster of the Peninsular brewery bought of[f] Fred. Yeiter (of) the Grand River Brewery. He intends to run both breweries.” (LR 5/8/1880)

Foerster operated both breweries until 1882 when the Peninsular Brewery on South Washington was closed. The Lansing Journal Weekly on May 22nd, 1884 noted that eight boxes of cigars from George Ganssly were found hidden in the old brewery on South Washington. Later the site was the home to the car barns for the Lansing Suburban Traction Company, it is unknown if the old brewery was repurposed as the car barn or if a new structure was built. The story that appeared in the Lansing Journal Weekly was really the trigger to research the history of brewing in Lansing. I was unaware that a brewery ever existed on South Washington Avenue.

Ok no idea where to place these.

The Michigan Gazetteer for 1877 and 1879 listed a George Stortz as a brewer on Washington Avenue. It is entirely possible that Stortz was operating what today we consider a brewpub. There is no other information on Stortz’s operation.

There is also a listing for Mary Renz who operated a brewery in 1878. There was a Conrad and Mary Renz (Rentz) who operated a 40-acre farm in Meridian Township. The book, American Breweries II listed that Mary Renz operated a brewery in Lansing in 1878, just where this information originated is unknown. (American Breweries II, 158) One of the stumbling blocks is that I have been unable to locate an obituary for Conrad and Mary, Conrad died in Ingham County on May 8, 1911 while Mary passed away on August 27, 1880.

Next the Pioneer Brewery; the Full Story by David Votta

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